Gomira mask-makers see silver lining

In News

Art of producing colourful wooden masks has been revived in Kushmundi, and demand for them is global.

Initiatives by the Government

  • A number of initiatives have been taken, which include setting up a training-cum-resource centre at Kushmundi and organising a village folk festival every year.
  • In 2013 a memorandum of understanding was signed between the West Bengal government and UNESCO to promote culture-based livelihoods to change for the better for these mask-makers.
  • Banglanatak, a social enterprise that partners with UNESCO worked for capacity building among the mask-makers at the ground level.
  • The festival to promote mask-making will be held from October 27 to October 29.

Gomira masks

  • An ethnic and traditional mask intricately crafted by the artisans West Bengal.
  • A tradition of art of masks making for the annual Gomira dance festival held in and around the village.
  • The Kushmandi masks or Gomira masks are usually made of light wood preferably the Gamhar wood.
  • The makers are mainly concentrated in the village of Mahisbathan where a handicraft hub has been developed as a part of rural craft hub initiative under the MSME department of Government of West Bengal and in collaboration with UNESCO.
  • Wood-crafted Gomira masks represent the characters of the two forms of the Gomira dance – the original Gomira form and the Ramer Banobas.
  • The masks depict the various characters of Goddess Kali in her indigenous form and also the mythical character of Hanuman.

Gomira Dance

  • Gomira is a socio religious festival that is celebrated in worship of Chandi and Kali in order to attain devine blessings From the godess .GOMIRA DANCE
  • The festival is celebrated mostly at the end of Bengali year .
  • Gomira is actually an animistic tradition in which the primitive people pay their homage to different Gods in order to attain security.
  • The Gomira dance have extensive use of wooden masks.
  • The artists Wear various masks which depicts various incarnations of Kali, Nrisingha and ghosts.

Source : The Hindu

GS I : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

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